Opinion: Building A Successful Life

Libby Shively McAvoy
Photo byEnvato Elements Purchased Image License N876AHDYP3

The term success is defined a bit differently by each of us, but the components are the same. Let’s dive right in.

Ten Principles For A Successful Life

  1. Emotional Intelligence
  2. A sense of purpose
  3. A detailed vision of what you desire
  4. Being self-aware
  5. Being authentic
  6. Belief and conviction
  7. Growth mindset
  8. Wellness
  9. Habits
  10. Living a love-based life rather than a fear-based life

So before we can live our best life, we need to let go of everything weighing us down, draining our energy, and holding us back.

Things to Let Go:

  • fear — fear of the unknown as well as fear of failure and rejection
  • the need for external validation
  • living to please others
  • grudges and anger for past experiences
  • expectation for outcomes

Emotional Intelligence

We can grow our emotional Intelligence at any point in life. In fact, I explain to my clients that it is a lifelong practice that begins with awareness and continues with effort.

Increasing our emotional Intelligence, according to Emotional Intelligence expert Daniel Goleman, is composed of five components which include:

  1. Self-awareness
  2. Self-regulation
  3. Motivation
  4. Empathy
  5. Social skills

By increasing Emotional Intelligence, we increase empathy and confidence. We improve social relationships and interpersonal skills. We learn how to process, express, and manage our emotions. These improvements carry into every facet of our life to allow us to thrive.

A Sense Of Purpose

Many people do not yet understand their purpose, and that is okay. I recommend you follow your passion and do what you love. A sense of purpose gives your life meaning. It gets you out of bed and drives you toward success.

A Detailed Vision

Before getting where we want to go, we have to have a clear vision of where that is. Imagine in the greatest detail possible all that you desire. This is your mental roadmap to your dreams. When encountering metaphorical roadblocks, you can pivot direction and try a different route. Once you have a complete vision of the future, you desire and tell the universe; the universe will conspire to make that happen.


Many people think they are self-aware, but very few are. Awareness is the catalyst for change. We can ditch bad habits and adopt better ones, make better choices, and be compassionate to others with awareness. Building self-awareness is a lifelong process. Be aware of your emotions, your thoughts, and how others feel around you and respond to you. Be mindful as you eat to taste each bite and to chew properly. Be aware of the tiny miracles unfolding all around you.

Being Authentic

Many people are living on autopilot and doing what they are told or what is expected of them rather than living the life they love. We wear “masks” to conceal our flaws. Living authentically means showing up in your own life. It means you no longer live to please others or search for external validation. You accept and love yourself exactly the way you are. You are confident. Once you live your authentic life, people will be magnetized toward you.

Belief and Conviction

We must believe we are worthy of all we desire before we can achieve it. We have to have the courage to take risks, even if we fail. Strong belief or faith in our vision will keep us focused. Having conviction keeps us moving forward when we feel tired or defeated.

Growth Mindset

Our thoughts become our outcomes, so the mindset is crucial. A growth mindset allows you to cope with setbacks. It gives mental flexibility and the ability to see multiple perspectives. In a growth mindset, you embrace learning from your mistakes and welcome criticism. You remain humble and approachable.


Success is like a marathon- we must take it slow and steady so that we do not suffer exhaustion and quit before reaching the finish line. Taking care of our bodies and minds is essential. Sleep, nutrition, daily movement, and meditation are vital. Connection with others is meaningful.


You will need to get honest with yourself. Every choice we make daily brings us one step closer to our desires or two steps back. We have to exchange self-defeating habits with ones that propel us forward. Eliminate things, like procrastination, that do not serve your greatest good.

A Love-Based Life

This seems like hocus pocus BS for many, but I lived a fear-based life for many years, which held me back. Once I ditched the fear, I started achieving so many excellent things. A love-based life is soul based, whereas a fear-based life is ego-driven. Living a love-based life allows you to step out of your comfort zone and achieve greatness. A fear-based life keeps you stuck. A love-based life looks within, has acceptance, enjoys the journey, and feels abundance.

Final Thoughts

Life is a journey, not a destination. It may lead us on a few boondoggles and detours, but everything happens for a reason. Embrace the lessons.

It is never too late to reinvent yourself. You are the author of your life. If you do not like the way something is going, change it. Write a new chapter, add or delete characters, and continue to edit until it feels right to you and has a happy ending.

Thank you so much for taking the time to read this. I wish you the best in achieving all that you desire.

Peace & Light,

Libby Shively McAvoy

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Libby is a Personal Development and Relationship coach specializing in emotional intelligence. By blending motivational speaking, leading yoga and wellness retreats, and writing, she has mastered the art of living her best life while helping others.

Cincinnati, OH

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